While considering her Keuka College major, Danielle Bosch contemplated journalism, or another form of writing, as a possible career option.
“As I began to discover what I truly wanted to do, I narrowed it down to communications because I love the study of how people interact and exchange ideas,” says Danielle, a freshman communication studies major. “Though I am looking to do something more closely related to human resource management or public relations, I wanted to see if I still had an interest in writing.”
Enter a Field Period® opportunity and Ben Beagle, editor and general manager of the Livingston County News. Danielle spent the month of January completing her first Field Period® at the weekly paper, and from her first day, she says, she learned much more than she expected.
One of her first lessons, according to Ben, was how to adapt—and quickly.
“Danielle started on a Tuesday, which when the day arrived, I had second thoughts,” says Ben, of Danielle’s first day of Field Period®. “Tuesdays are our production time—a long, hectic day that doesn’t afford much opportunity for getting-to-know-you chit-chat or acclimating to the environment. I had prepared a couple of things to get Danielle started, and then had a short story drop in our lap that would have worked nicely in an extra news hole that became available that morning. I passed the information to Danielle, gave her a tight deadline, and she delivered.”
And not only was Danielle able to write for the paper, she was also able to get a good feel for an office environment, see what production day involves, and conduct interviews. Something Danielle says she has learned from her Field Period® experience is how well she can handle a position with the pace of the work and how to prioritize.
“There are some days where I was working on five stories at a time, and others where I was waiting to hear back from a variety of different people to finish one story,” says Danielle. “Regardless, everyday I learned new skills, in both writing and one-on-one interaction with people.”
“She did an excellent job juggling multiple stories at once,” says Ben. “Danielle’s writing, and her ability to connect with interview subjects, was more advanced then I expected from a freshman. I have worked with upper classmen, both in writing projects and as a classroom professor, who had not yet developed to where Danielle’s writing was.”
Ben adds that Danielle was interested in “all kinds” of stories, and embraced the feedback she got.
“Each story became stronger than the next as she took what she learned in one story, and applied it to her writing of the next story,” says Ben. “Her stories got stronger the more she wrote.
Which led to myriad articles published with her byline. During her Field Period® stint, Danielle told the tale of a catering company preparing meals to donate to several food pantries; highlighted Livonia, N.Y.’s spelling champ; and profiled a SUNY Geneseo graduate who appeared on popular scientist Bill Nye’s show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” among others.
But her favorite story involved a group of Geneseo Central School eighth-graders, and the pinball machine games they created as part of both art and technology classes.
“I had a lot of fun interviewing the students at the school and testing out their games,” says Danielle.
Back at the paper, Ben says Danielle was given a chance to experience a number of different aspects that go into producing the paper each week, as well as maintaining a daily presence online.
“Danielle excelled beyond expectations, allowing us to bring more to our news report than we otherwise could have,” Ben says. “She contributed so much, that we’ll have stories under her byline for several weeks after her Field Period®.”
“It means so much to me that Mr. Beagle takes my writing seriously and utilizes it for the paper, which is incredible to me, considering I’m a freshman,” says Danielle. “It was sad to leave after my Field Period® was over, because everyone at the paper is so nice and supportive, and I have learned so much in such a short time. Keuka College has been such a great fit for me.”